The biggest asset that a company can have to grow and build a strong brand is committed, motivated, and hardworking staff. Employers go to a great extent in ensuring they have the best workers to succeed in the highly competitive marketplace. However, many employees are encountering a lot of difficulties understanding and engaging the Millennials. This is the generation born between years 1980 to 2000.
A closer look at Millennials
Many surveys have found that Millennials are approximately 32% of the total US workforce. Additional studies have revealed that Millennials are different and want to work in a more engaging and progressive environment. Here are additional descriptions of Millennials:
- Highly group oriented: Unlike Generation X before them, Millennials strongly prefer collaborative and team based work. They value relationships and will always network at the personal and professional levels. Their focus is working with people they can trust and to keep learning to improve their skills.
- Millennials are socially conscious: They are interested in getting work and employers who share the same values and principles. While their desire to get more engaged and deliver more is impressive, a significant number of them depict great disconnect with the companies they work for. This disconnect with the mission has in many cases made managers review their operational strategy.
- Progress oriented: The Millennials want to see their impact being felt right away. They want to get the sense that every effort they make is counting to the final results. It is because of this that they want a boss who can progressively make them learn new things as they apply and make an impact at work. However, efforts at work require time to get results and demand a lot of patience. In other cases, the results demonstrate all staff commitment and cannot simply point to one individual.
- Millennials seek autonomy at the workplace: Unlike the previous generations that did not have problems working with highly demanding managers, the Millennials are different. They prefer having more choices and not working with mandates. They want more flexibility at work and job descriptions that encourage extra innovativeness and creativity at all times to get work done.
The best strategies for engaging Millennials at work
Because of their unique characteristics, Millennials are considered by managers and employers to present a lot of challenges as well as opportunities. To succeed in driving your company to the next level with Millennials at all levels of the department, you have to get the right strategy of engaging them. The following are top strategies that you can utilize to engage the Millennials.
1. Develop unique connections
Because Millennials are used to team work, they effortlessly work to establish connections both inside and outside of your company. As a manager, you need to facilitate the development of these connections at all levels of organization operations. Organize for more interactive forums between staff in the company and even build cooperation with other companies. To achieve more from these connections, consider defining them along company values and mission.
2. Make the workplace extra flexible
Millennials were born and grew in a world that is increasingly full of opportunities. Right at the heart of exponential potential presented by the computing era, information, communication, and liaison has never been easier. You have to extend this flexibility to the Millennials to get more from them. Well, the project you want a millennial to work seated in the office could be completed right at home or even faster than you think. Take time with them to understand their potential and create that flexibility to work, relate, share, and demonstrate their strength.
3. Training and development
In every workplace, it is the development of new skills and talents that make workers enjoy their work. Through training and development, the employees get to know they are valued, develop new skills, and easily connect new organizational demands. For Millennials, ensure that the training and development are done in a more engaging manner as opposed to the conventional class-like model. You can achieve this via stretch assignments, mentorship programs, and special projects. Make sure to set targets and focus on such training to achieve their goals.
4. Define their job descriptions broadly
Millennial want to feel on top of things and making a contribution in various areas of company operations. You can do this by broadly defining the job description and expectations. An important factor to note at this point is that the contribution and progress they make should be used to map the movement of the company to the next level. For example, define the job clearly and set a model of celebrating achievements. Then, within the appreciation of success; set the baseline of a progressive culture. It is this culture of bettering what Millennials have that will catapult individual output and company to success.
5. Center everything on work
Whether it is a Millennial or Generation Y worker, the target is achieving high productivity. As a manager, the secret is making the work a common factor especially to Millennials. They need to own the tasks they are working by being made to feel special and part of the important pillars in departments. Example; a millennial at the customer care unit should be made to feel part of what the organization needs to succeed. This will make him/her go an extra mile to be courteous, professional and focused on delivering results.
6. Incentives and motivation
Well, just like the previous generations before them, Millennials want to feel appreciated. It is, therefore, crucial to provide the right incentives that can demonstrate company’s appreciation for their work. This does not trickle down to salaries alone. Rather, it should be demonstrated through a clear hierarchy of needs that will catch up with the Millennials with time. Every time an assignment or project is completed, have time to explore its success or failure. Let the entire team feel their contribution and associate with results.
With time, mentor the Millennials to leadership positions and present them with bigger responsibilities. Their unique drive to have things done and special desire for success will infiltrate down to enrich the organization culture.
Millennials is a new generation that only wants to do things in a different way. One argument that keeps popping up in every strategy as experts share thoughts is whether it is the management which is still trapped in the past or the Millennials are out of touch. As a company, success can only be possible when espoused goals are carefully designed, and staff helped to understand, internalize, and implement them for higher output. Therefore, look at the silver lining on this cloud of Millennials, and you will realize the overflowing potential that can take your business to the next level. The outlined strategies will get you started, and the potential will be realized in no time.